Since the 80s, LSAT test writers have forced test takers to battle some difficult Logic Games: circles, dinosaurs, buildings … the test writers have given us plenty to be shocked about. This week, some pretty startling news came out, giving test writers a constraint more difficult than anything seen on a test: within four years, the Logic Games section, as we know it, may be gone.
First, the backstory
Angelo Binno, a blind man, applied for a few accommodations from LSAC. These accommodations included a request to remove the Logic Games from his exam. Due to his visual impairment, he is not able to draw diagrams. As Blueprint students know, diagrams are extremely helpful on the games. LSAC did not approve this accommodation, stating that some students do not use diagrams on the games.
Binno’s lawyer, Jason Turkish, a graduate of Northwestern Law, is also legally blind. In fact, he sued LSAC himself in 2006. As this case hit home for him, he worked with Binno to make this test more accessible for all test takers. After years of legal battles, Turkish’s law firm released a statement that Binno settled with LSAC: within four years, current logic games section will (might?) be removed as a requirement for all test takers. Yes, that’s right; not just accommodated test takers — all test takers.
Why didn’t LSAC just give Binno his requested accommodation?
There is no official statement on this, but we can speculate based on what we do know. Pursuant to a 2014 consent decree, LSAC is not able to reveal which test takers were approved for accommodations. There would be no way for LSAC to send Binno’s score to schools without revealing he had a disability exempting him from the Logic Games.
This is groundbreaking news. So, what are these changes?
LSAC released and then deleted a statement on Twitter on how the current Logic Games section might be changing. Their explanation of the agreement is slightly different than that in the statement released by Turkish’s law firm. They claim they promised to “research alternative ways to assess analytical reasoning” and that it is “too early in the process to speculate how the test will evolve.” They also slightly hedge on there being any changes at all with the phrase, “Should there be any significant changes to the format …” Turkish stands behind his original statement. So, who knows how the Analytical Reasoning section will change or if logic games will even be removed. But we can at least speculate that the current section might be modified so diagramming is no longer required, or at least de-emphasized.
And, of course, these changes — if there are any — are potentially four years down the road. So, unless you are planning on waiting four years before applying to law school, you still must study the games as they are now! By glancing at all the released practice tests, you can see that not much has changed in nearly 30 years — you have plenty of material to get you through the next four years. You can start by making logic game practice sets in the Online Anytime Course, which you can try free for seven days!
So, what does this mean for accommodated test takers?
Unless you’re a long-time LSAT nerd (guilty!) you may not be aware that LSAC offers accommodations for those with a proven history of a disability. These accommodations may include, and are not limited to, extra time, large-print tests, stop the clock breaks, use of a podium, and a private testing room. For a full list of accommodations, you can refer to LSAC’s website directly. Binno’s request, removing an entire section, was not on this list; hence the lawsuit! However, if you have a disability and need accommodations, here are a few of our tips:
1. Carefully read the rules on LSAC’s website.
2. Get the forms in WELL BEFORE THE DEADLINE! LSAC is generally pretty strict about deadlines. It would be awful for them to request additional documentation without sufficient time for you to provide it.
3. Make sure you have all of your supporting documentation ready! You must have a doctor sign off on your accommodations — make sure that you are communicating with your doctor. If you had accommodations for a test in the past, such as the SAT, or for exams in college, make sure that you have all of those documents.
4. If you are unsure about any of the rules or guidelines, call or email LSAC well in advance of the deadline. They can help guide you through the procedure for accommodations.
Wow, how’s that for LSAT news?! This is the first we’ve heard of such a monumental change. We are happy to see that LSAC has settled to be more amicable to those with disabilities and make the changes to the test applicable to all test takers. It will be very interesting to see the direction these changes take- don’t worry, we will keep you updated with each new change!